From time to time, advancements in technology are made, and new gadgets and products are made but have you ever wondered what happens to your old devices and products?
Where Does Your E-Waste Go?
All electronic wastes are made up of harmful chemicals such as cadmium, lead, mercury, brominated flame retardants, and beryllium. Improperly disposing of such electronic products and gadgets can end up leaching into water bodies, contaminating the soil, polluting the air.
When electronic waste is discarded into landfills, it will likely leach onto the water when it passes through, carrying along the trace of elements. This contaminated landfill water can be harmful if it reaches any drinking water bodies, such as natural underground water.
Even with an eco-friendly approach, recycling generally means shipping and dumping the gadgets overseas in a pit. Some recycling companies go as far as to ship the electronic waste to third-world nations, passing it as philanthropy.
In such countries, many youngsters make their livelihood by rummaging through the dump in search of silver, gold, copper, and iron from electronic waste, which can prove to be harmful to their health. Nations that are utilized as dumping grounds by companies, in general, have a high rate of cybercrimes since the criminals can salvage hard drives from the waste, providing direct information to your personal information as well as files.
Following are some waste disposal techniques that you can use to dispose of e-waste locally.
Return The Electronic Gadget Or Product To The Company
Electronic companies usually tend to have an exchange policy where the older product is returned to the company. When you go for a newer product, you can get a discount on your more recent purchase through the exchange.
Some of the electronic companies also have established electronic drop-off initiatives alongside drop-off points for gadgets and products such as tablets and cell phones, after which they are recycled.
You can inquire regarding any information on drop off locations to your local electronic shops.
Visit Civic Institutions
You can put up a query for any recycling programs running at your universities, schools, and government as many organizations have started to assign a particular location and day for citizens who are environmentally conscious of dropping off their older products or electronic wastes.
Consider Donating Your Outdated Gadgets Or Products
Older pieces of technology or gadgets that you no longer require can be donated as they can prove to be useful for others. Your older computer, which you are not using, can be a tremendous help to a student or an NGO. You should ask yourself these questions before dumping off your electronic waste, is the electronic product still functional? And does the electronic product have any of your personal information?
A lot of businesses and organizations host electronic donation programs from which you can choose from.
Sell Your Outdated Gadgets Or Products That Are Not In Use
As the old saying goes, one man’s waste is another man’s treasure. It is especially true when you are looking to get rid of your older electronic products. You can choose to sell the product online through websites such as eBay, Craigslist, or maybe even a garage sale can work out as they can help get rid of electronic junk from your house while simultaneously helping you earn you some cash for it. An example of such older products can be your old Nintendo video game, which can be sold for as high as $40 for each piece. Nearly all the electronic shops would be ready to purchase your older electronic products.
Give The E-Waste To A Certified E-Waste Recycler
The benefit of e-waste recycling is that several options for recycling are available to you.
You need to look for an e-waste recycler certified by BAN (Basel Action Network). It is a non-profit organization of recycling companies committed to recycling electronic waste responsibly and safely. Hence, working along with a certified recycler means that you would not have to worry regarding malpractices or irresponsible dumping of e-waste, which pollutes other countries or even running the risk of losing personal information to criminals.
Precautions to take before recycling or donating your electronic waste.
- Consider upgrading your electronic device or product instead of just replacing it.
- Format your electronic device to erase all personal information that may be stored in it.
- Remove any batteries from the device or product before you get rid of them.
Electronic gadgets and products are a crucial and integral part of our lives. However, the downside is the electronic waste that comes along with it. Ensure that you format and erase any personal information from the device before disposing of it for recycling in an adequate manner as the consequences of not doing so can be harmful.